BHP BillitonGroup has hit a newrecord for the number of tonnes of iron ore produced in a year fromits Pilbara mines in Western Australia, but it did not completely offset theimpact of the suspension at the Samarco mine in Brazil. Iron ore output from the WesternAustralian operations in fiscal 2016 climbed 2% to 257 million tonnes on a 100%basis compared to the prior fiscal year, but company-wide production slipped 2%to 227.0 million tonnes.
Analystsexpect Vale to post near-record Q2 output
According to Bloomberg News, Vale SA is expected to post near-recordoutput levels in the second quarter, despite the effects of the November2015 Samarco tailings dam disaster. The average estimate of five analystssurveyed by Bloomberg pegged the miner's second quarter output at 86 milliontonnes of iron ore, which compares to record production of 89.3 million tonnesin the same quarter a year ago.
For the second quarter, Anglo American Plc booked lower diamond, Kumba iron ore, copper and export thermal coal productionby 19%, 15%, 8% and 6%, respectively, but reported 91%, 76%, 4% and 1%increases in the production of Minas Rio iron ore, nickel, export metallurgical coaland platinum.
* Investec reaffirmed its ratings on the stocks of mininggiants Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Glencore Plc, but raised the price target for theminers' shares. With a sell rating, the price target per share for AngloAmerican was increasedto 605 pence from 505 pence; BHP Billiton was raised to 980 pencefrom 840 pence, with a hold rating; tagged as buy, Rio Tinto stock was lifted to 2,948 pencefrom 2,497 pence; and Glencore stock target was upped to 133 pence from111 pence, with a sell rating. Deutsche Bank also retained its buy rating onRio Tinto shares, but loweredthe price target to 3,160 pence from 3,175 pence.
* According to Mining Weekly, Thiess was awardedthe contract for the first underground decline project at Rio Tinto'sOyu Tolgoicopper-gold mine in Mongolia. The project is slated to start within the monthand is expected to be completed in 2020.
* According to the National Bureau of Statistic of China,Chinese zinc concentrates outputfell by 1.6% year on year to about 2.18 million tonnes in the first half,mainly due to the closure of small miners in the country, Metal Bulletin wrote.
* The Philippine government has requested to nickel ore fromManicani island in the central part of the country due to environmentalconcerns, Reuters reported citing environment secretary Regina Lopez. Lopezalso said the stockpiles of 1.4 million tonnes must be returned to the soil.
* LundinMining Corp., Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and have agreedto extend the periodallowing Lundin to bid for Freeport's indirect interest in to Sept. 15. TFHoldings indirectly owns an 80% interest in the Tenke Fungurume copper mine in the DemocraticRepublic of Congo.
* VenaResources Inc. inked binding letters of intent to and jointly consolidatethe Bongará and Charlotte Bongará zinc projects in Peru for cash and sharepayments totaling US$835,000 for Bongará and US$595,000 for Charlotte Bongaráover a three-year period.
* The rejection by the World Bank's International Center forthe Settlement of Investment Disputes of an US$800 million lawsuit filedagainst Peru in 2011 over the country's alleged failure to clean up pollutionsurrounding Doe Run ResourcesCorp.'s LaOroya copper smelter is "insignificant"and the result of a technical failure, Gestiónreported, citing Doe Run major shareholder Renco Group Inc. Renco plans to filea legal appeal.
* AmarcResources Ltd. negotiated a new option agreement with to fully acquirethe latter's Galore copper project in British Columbia.
* FresnilloPlc saw higherproduction across all of its precious and base metal products inthe second quarter. Total silver and gold output improved year over year by14.5% and 19.6%, respectively, to 13.0 million ounces and 217,645 ounces. Leadproduction went up 18.1% to 11,585 tonnes while zinc output increased 21.3% to12,529 tonnes.
* AngloAmerican Platinum Ltd. produced 586,000 ounces of platinum in thesecond quarter, 1%more than the same quarter of 2015, while gross refined platinum outputrose by 33% year on year to 748,000 ounces.
* PJSC PolyusGold's second-quarter output rose by 6% year on year to 455,000 ounces of gold,pushing its first half production up 7% to 839,000 ounces of gold.
* GuyanaGoldfields Inc. closed a C$130 million bought-deal financing forexpanding its Aurora gold mine in Guyana.
* NorthernStar Resources Ltd. booked 143,580 ounces of gold production in theJune quarter and 613,162 ounces for the 2016 financial year. June-quarterproduction was a 7.8%decrease over the March quarter, which was due to a lower headgrade and recovery rate that resulted in an 8.8% drop in recovered ounces.
* Despite operational challenges — including dealing withmultiple ore types from different sources that affected throughput, recoveryand grade in the first half of the year — Randgold Resources Ltd.'s Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic ofCongo is on track tomeet its production target of over 600,000 ounces this year.
* BlackhamResources Ltd. started open pit mining and underground development workat the company's Matilda gold project in Western Australia. Wetcommissioning of the Wiluna processing plant, meanwhile, is on track to beginin August.
* Major shareholder Lingbao State-owned Assets Operation LLCreceived approval to divest2,233,000,000 non-circulating shares, or 28.99% of the total shares, inLingbao Gold Co. Ltd.to Shenzhen Da Ren Investment Management Co. Ltd. and
* Mexico's environment ministry Semarnat authorizedMinera Frisco SAB deCV subsidiary MineraReal de Angeles SA de CV to expandactivities at its Santa Francisca and El Porvenir gold deposits inAguascalientes, La Jornada reported.
* GreatThunder Gold Corp. decided to sell its BRX gold mineral claims to unit Bralorne Gold MinesLtd., completing its long-term plan to divest noncore assets. Underthe agreement, Bralorne will pay C$65,000 cash, issue 10,000 Avino shares andgrant a 1% net smelter returns royalty, capped at C$250,000.
* GoldcorpInc. has completed the acquisition of Under the deal,Kaminak shareholders will receive 0.10896 of a common share of Goldcorp foreach Kaminak Share held.
* Although Vale SA promised to restart construction of itsRio Coloradopotash project, the CEO of Vale in Argentina, Eduardo Santana, is reportedly intalks with the Mendoza province government to extend the deadline to submita work plan by 90 days. The deadline was scheduled for the end of July, Cronista reported.
* Chinese aluminum smelter Jiaozuo Wanfang has suspendedproduction this week and may not resume output for several months afterrecent flooding damaged its electric power generation, Metal Bulletin reported.
* TerniumSA said the subscription process for the 1 billion Brazilian reaiscapital raise for UsinasSiderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA has been . Ternium and certain unitssubscribed for a total of 393.1 million reais worth of Usiminas shares, givingthem a 20.5% stake in the company.
* Dongbei Special Steel Group Co. Ltd. defaultedon another bond, an 870 million Chinese yuan, two-year note that matured on July18. The company has defaulted on at least seven debt instrumentsthis year, according to Reuters.
* The Colombian Government extendedthe concession contract for the La Jagua coal project with mining consortium , owned by , to 2031, El Heraldo reported. The new contractincludes 200 billion Colombian pesos in royalties per year. Estimated annualproduction for 2016 is 3.3 million tonnes and 13.5 million tonnes by 2031.
* Altos Hornosde México SAB de CV's Hercules iron ore unit began productionat its La Negra and H14 fields in Mexico, with a combined potential to generate2 million tonnes of ore, Mundo Mineroreported. The deposits will supply Altos Hornos' Monclova plant.
* The U.S. broadened itschallenge at the World Trade Organization to China's export limits on rawmaterials to cover chromium, antimony, indium, magnesia, talc and tin, Reuterswrote, citing a U.S. trade representative.
* S&P Global Ratings upgraded PJSC ALROSA's long-term corporate credit rating to BBfrom BB- and affirmed its short-term rating at B, with a positive outlook.
* LucaraDiamond Corp. will pay a special dividend of 45 Canadian cents per share tocommon shareholders in addition to the 1.5 Canadian cents per share quarterlyprogressive dividend for 2016. The total payout will amount to C$172 million,to be paid Sept. 15 to shareholders on record as of Sept. 2.
* MillennialLithium Corp. entered a deal to acquire a lithium project in Argentina's Salta province.
* LithiumPower International Ltd. struck a binding and exclusive agreementwith Chilean firm Minera Salar Blanco to undertake on the exploration anddevelopment of the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile.
* Research by SNL Metals & Mining showed a fall in theprice of credit default swaps, or CDS, in the first six months of the year forleading mining companies, indicating improving creditworthiness and lower default risk.
* The International Monetary Fund has its global economic outlook amidexpectations that the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union will weigh on theworld economy. In its July 19 World Economic Outlook, the fund revised itsglobal growth forecast by 0.1 percentage point to 3.1% in 2016 and to 3.4% in2017, from 3.2% and 3.5%, respectively, in April.
* According to MiningWeekly, Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham isplanning to make 826 square kilometers of land availablefor minerals, coal, petroleum and natural gas exploration in the next 12 months.
S&P Global Ratingsand SNL Metals & Mining are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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